End of Watch: 08/02/2003
Agency: Federal Way Police Department
County: King County
On Saturday, August 2, 2003 at about 1020 hours, Officer Patrick Maher of the Federal Way Police Department was shot and killed after attempting to break up a fight along Pacific Highway South.
Officer Maher had been sent to the AM/PM at South 272nd Street and Pacific Highway South for a child-custody exchange. Upon arriving at the AM/PM, a female told Officer Maher that her boyfriend, Joseph Roberts, and his brother Jason were fighting. The three had been arguing over the fact that Jason was constantly stealing from family members to support his drug habit. It eventually escalated into a physical fight. The family even had a court order against Jason, in an attempt to keep him away from the family home.
As Officer Maher broke up the fight, he actually pinned Jason to the ground. He then ordered Jason to the sidewalk if he would agree to not fight. Jason stood up, but suddenly took off running with Officer Maher and Joseph chasing him across a strip mall parking lot to a fence. As Jason climbed the fence, Joseph pulled his brother down. Officer Maher began attempting to handcuff Jason at the same time.
The three men ended up on the ground and a physical fight ensued. Jason was able to get Officer Maher’s .45-caliber Glock pistol from his holster. After a fight for control over the gun that lasted about a minute, Jason pointed the gun at Joseph and the female. Officer Maher lunged at Jason to try to get control of the gun when he was shot in the abdomen, just below his vest.
Officer Maher continued to fight after being shot. Jason was held at the scene by his brother and nearby employees from a Firestone before officers arrived to take him into custody.
Officer Maher was transported to Harborview Medical Center where he died at 1615 hours.
Jason Roberts was arrested by members of the Kent Police Department and charged with murder. He pled guilty to first-degree murder and on December 9, 2005, he was sentenced to 30 years.
Officer Maher served with the Federal Way Police Department for seven months, and had previously served for seven years with the Honolulu Police Department. Prior to that, he served for 20 years in the United States Coast Guard. He is survived by his wife and three children.